Anonymous- What do you dig thinking about the most, Born Free 1, 2 or 3? Any changes in mind? Stay gold.
Grant- That's a tuff one. BF 1 was super special just because we pulled it off in 30 days and had a great concentration of our favorite bikes from around the country, it worked.
BF 2 was a whole 'nuther ball game! We worked hard on it for like 8 months and only one person involved had a heart attack (seriously!). We got real lucky again with 2 because it wouldn't have been anything without all of YOU that made the countless sacrifices to get there, that's why it worked and why BF2 was special, that and there was over 2000 bikes and well over 5000 people! It was not even a full day show for crying out loud!
I think it was the motivation many of you non-Californian’s needed to finally get out to the west coast and see it in person and consequently be part of a now historical show. We never did it for the money and we were VERY lucky to break even on #2 because it cost us WAY more money than we thought, but it was important to keep it free. And the panhead giveaway! Crazy. Still trips me out we did all that.
After talking to people and hearing story after story of your adventures to get to BF2 (most were good) and how many of you jumped on an old bike and rode with friends and many solo across this great land of ours was the thing I liked most about the weekend, it still boggles my mind because most Californians wouldn't so that for really anything cuz we're so spoiled here.
As far as BF3 goes...we'll see. Yesterday we four Born-Free-ers got together to see if this is something we want to do again—needless to say the Z-bar is set pretty high after BF2. You’ll know either way real soon, if it’s a yes you better not miss it! Check bornfreeshow for the latest.
Joe Zito- What’s your take on the 'scene'? After doing the ride to skate in Philly for a few years now, I am still amazed at how rad most of these folks are & the skills and eye for design some of these home builders have. How do you think things will change over the next few years? Do you ever fear that what you hold near & dear to your heart will be blown out & douchified by its popularity? I do a little but I just keep meeting more & more rad people who are true as fuck & ride & build their hearts out. Oh, boxers or briefs?
Grant- I think there is the threat of that with anything. I grew up riding dirt bikes and working on old cars. I took the car thing to another level than just a hobby and built hot rods for a living for many years. Soon I found myself not being able to afford to build myself anything because the prices went so high and traditional cars got to be the “in” thing. I lived, ate, and breathed hot rods, then choked. The over saturation also killed it for me, but things are different here in So Cal, it’s easy for that stuff to happen out here and to jade people because of sheer numbers. I’m not from here, I grew up in Salt Lake which at the time had basically no scenes as far as cars or bikes went. There was a good music scene while I was a teenager and going to hardcore and discord-type band shows, but the Utah driver’s license was easy to fake.
In recent times people have greatly educated themselves. Home builders are turning out nice products from bikes, to parts, to cloths, to magazines, etc. Building a bike isn’t hard, building a well thought out bike takes, well, thought! Of course skills and tools really helps, but friends with those is good too. The speed of the internet and the idea sharing (or borrowing) has catapulted people’s builds and also sped through trends that would normally last longer if all we had was print media. Everything good and bad thing gets chewed up, copied, raked over with a fine tooth comb, perfected, and then cast off as gay. I think that’s just the world as we know it today. The people that have only gotten into this stuff don’t know any other way, they don’t know about pouring over old mags, listening to old timer’s stories, etc. Not saying all that is gospel, but just like anything you need to know history. I’ve always been big on knowing where things came from. As a kid in SLC I had stacks of magazines I would read cover to cover, over and over, literally wearing them out because I wanted to absorb as much as possible, still do.
This is probably a little off topic, but one of the things I like most about working with metal is that you’ll never learn everything about it. There are always new ways to do things, old tricks to learn. I love welding too. One of the best things one can do is to learn to TIG weld. MIGs are for bridges and battleships!
Boxers all the way.
Zac Doom at Heavy- I know QP and Clyde also reside at FMA world headquarters, what are their roles at FMA? Also, what inspired you guys to start FMA? What’s the story?
Grant- Clyde is the new FMA butt licker and guard dog. He likes to sleep on our pillows while were away. The QP is the female design consultant and shipping department head. Oh and she packs all the company sass. Harpoon has been screen printing for like 15 years and even has a degree in it. So he would always make some cool shirts and give them to friends. This went on until a few years ago when I was like "these are good, let’s do it for real". He's a bit too much of an artist to hold down the biz side of it which is where I came in and took over that side as well as brainstorming together. Now we have EZ that draws most all of the designs and we have been trying to get the parts biz going that we took over from T-Bone. We were stoked that deal worked because we had been kicking around a few parts we wanted to make, but it's tough because there are some many companies making parts. Ours are good niche parts and are made in the USA. We have more stuff in the works, but its all money and time. We are just a few dudes doin' it with what little we have to work with, I type this from the FMA head office in our tiny kitchen on a desk made from an old high school door! It's great when people get our shirts or parts and are genuinely stoked, makes it all worth it because it's a lot of work.
Mike D from Born Loser- Well, Mike didn’t have a question but some comments instead… Grant has been on late night TV (I think Letterman or Leno)… putting mass amounts of quarters up his nose. Ask him about his special talent. He and Amy are very well respected in the area for making an unbelievable Corn Dog casserole... Care to comment or explain?
Grant- Yes, I am a stupid human. I put 14 quarters in my nose on national late night TV on the Letterman show. Was back in ’01 I think. In high school I was so bored in math class that I was putting things in my nose to kill time and a quarter went up there real easy. So I gathered enough from those around until I couldn’t fit any more in. Thank you Mr. Thomas, worlds worst math teacher, for teaching me this! I have made at least a couple grand off it to date. I have done as many as 18 quarters, but that gets tricky. I just tried to win a trip to Mexico with the trick for a LA area radio station deal, 95.5 KLOS, but lost to a double jointed elbow kid…
The corndog casserole is nothing I can take credit for except eating it, and encouraging people to eat. It is actually a recipe from Hot Dog royalty. My chick Amy is a hair dresser and one of her clients is from the Hoffy Hot Dog family and gave her the recipe. Amy is from the Mid West were babies are born in casserole dishes so she took to making it like a duck to water.
Harpoon- Ok, ask Grant if he would ever get a happy ending. And what fuels his Megan Fox obsession (well it’s not really an obsession but it will fire up his old lady) And when did he start and then why did he stop wearing girls pants. I have a good picture too somewhere.
Grant- I certainly wouldn’t want an unhappy ending!
Not an obsession, someone said I had to have a list, so I knew she was hot and put her at the top. Apparently Amy was appalled (she has a top 5 list by the way), now it a running joke and a good way to push her buttons. Who doesn’t like Megan Fox, come on!
I was young, single, in good shape, easy job, had to make the most of it. Back then tight pants was more rock and roll than whatever it is now, but I'm fat and old these days so it was good while it lasted. That and the chicks dug it…
Clarke- Does Harpoon wear slacks to all the parties or just the special ones?
Grant- Harpoon usually wears his white boogie shoes to most parties, he'll pair them with his fancy pants for real special dance parties.
Anonymous- My son wants to know, who's your favorite muppet and why?
Grant- As far as muppets go it's hard not to love Animal, but there's some sweet characters like Gonzo or the two sarcastic old guys in the balcony.
Tim for Death Science- Any plans to print more AEE shirts? Why an orange bike? How can I get the Beautiful Buzzards to play my birthday party? Do you guys plan on making more cast parts? What's your favorite slushy flavor?
Grant- Tim, We have AEE shirts ready to go! I think we’re out of the baseball tees, but we have regulars.
I guess the Orange came from me thinking about what color to paint my ’72 Chevy truck and thought long and hard about root beer brown or hugger orange. These thoughts tricked into the shovelhead area of my brain as that bike began to change. Soon I just wanted a simple bike and the history of Oakland Orange bikes, but I couldn’t commit to the frame being orange as well. Its single stage even, probably the easiest paint job Harpoon has done in a long time.
Just let me know when and where the party is! We are writing more songs right now and getting things together. It’s harder as you get older! Jason is a Harley mechanic and is married with a kid and I have 40 million things going, so we only practice once a week. Hopefully we can get things going soon. I love playing shows.
We have lots of ideas for parts, it’s just a matter of money, which we don’t have much of. But we really haven’t pushed our brand yet except the internet and the ads in Street Chopper we buy. Its good stuff and I think there is a more broad need for it, but we have to fight with those that have the bread to smother us. We have faith.
I’m always game for things of a berry nature.
Anonymous- Do you think a mermaid’s pussy smells like fish? Or maybe like some girls smell like seafood for some reason a mermaids might smell like a hamburger hot off the grill or something nice like that.
Grant- Wow, never really thought about that. Maybe it tastes like chicken? Where is it on a mermaid?
Anonymous- Why did Clarke think that you had a kid? What made you decide to get involved with Freak Out The Squares?
Grant- I have no idea! I’ve been pretty careful over the years and didn’t have any when I was married, so it was kind of a scare when he said that!
We decided to join FOTS because we know how hard it is to start something like this and the work that goes into it and everyone involved could all use the help. That and the choice of brands which are all peers, seems like a good idea and I hope it works for all of us. I was even happier about the partnership when we met Mike D and Clarke at the Born-Free show, good people.
Mike D from FOTS- Are there any plans to make street chopper a monthly publication?
Grant- As far as Street Chopper goes it's not really up to us because the company is so big, it's actually up to all of you! The more they sell the more they'll print. We already have taken it from near death at once a year just two years ago to 90,000 copies quarterly, so it's getting there. I was just happy that Jeff got control of it so the two of us could fly with it. There are rumors of it going bi-monthly next year…
Clarke- Now that you're an international magazine cover model, if you're not too busy, can we see what happens if we hang out at the book store in the smut novel section reading your issue so I can pick up some run off of all the lonely worked up older ladies looking to slum it with some dirty biker dudes? Then we could write a smut novel about that whole trip and read that one in the self help section and maybe upgrade to some insecure damaged hipster babes? If not, what plans do you have to cash in on your new status and recklessly abuse your powers?
Grant- I guess we better see how the issue sells first! Might be the demise of Street Chopper! If it works, the slorchy broads are all yours!
Clarke- What question would you ask yourself? Any last words?
Grant- Yeah, who doesn’t like Megan Fox? Na, I’ve done the soul searching thing and all that when I got divorced and am pretty happy about me. My life is more about making all these things I’m involved in work. Not sure why I can’t just go to work and come home and do nothing every day. I guess sports fill people’s lives like all this fills mine, I just think it’s more fun to do something fulfilling and hopefully make something of myself. I want to have time to travel more in the coming years. I used to do lots of that growing up, I’m an eagle scout you know.
Clarke- Thanks man.